All posts by Jen Thorpe

Spreaker Adds Mic Controls to Spreaker Studio

Spreaker has added newly launched Mic Controls that give Stitcher users an easier way of creating professional level audio. This feature is available on Spreaker Studio for iOS and Android devices.

It may seem like a simple attribute but volume can have a real impact on your program and how your message is conveyed. Use your voice volume to set the atmosphere for your show, create intrigue, mystery and deception with a quietly placed voice, show strength, force or aggression through a loud booming vocal section. We know you’ll enjoy experimenting with the possibilities.

The new mic controls give users an extra level of control over how various voices and recordings sound. Combined with Stitcher’s auto-ducking feature (which makes any track you’re playing automatically lower when you start speaking) – you’ll be able to give a professional edge to your podcasts.

There are instructions on the blog post about Mic Controls on the Stitcher website that discusses the new feature. It is provided in a step-by-step format. Stitcher wants everyone to have the possibility to create, publish, distribute, and analyze professional sounding recordings. The new Mic Controls feature is one of many from Stitcher, including one-click/ tap distribution, trim and crop tools, and Siri Shortcuts.

Adblock Radio is an Adblocker for Live Radio Streams and Podcasts

Adblock Radio is a service that lets you listen to your favorite broadcasts while being able to choose if you want to hear ads – or if you do not want to hear ads. It was created by Alexandre Storelli.

Adblock Radio detects audio ads with machine-learning and Shazam-like techniques. The core engine is open source: use it in your radio product! You are welcome to join efforts to support more radios and podcasts.

Adblock Radio was built to enable listeners to skip ad interruptions on their favorite webradios. The algorithm is open source. Those who are interested can read more about that in the Adblock Radio website.

Alexandre Storelli gives some explanations about why he created something that would block ads. First, there’s the loudness war. Storelli wrote: Advertisers exploit auditory artifacts, such as dynamic range compression and equalization to make their ads stand out of those of others despite not being mathematically louder.

He also feels that ads try to trigger impulse buying by exploiting our emotions and serendipitous discovery, short circuiting our rational thoughts. He feels that these mind tricks are manipulative and disrespectful.

It seems to me that podcasts that are played on radio stations are likely to be the most affected by Adblock Radio. Many people who listen to their local radio station’s podcast, while it is being broadcast live, have heard some very loud ads in between the content. But, Adblock Radio could also affect podcasters who have too many ads in their shows.

Overall, the purpose of Adblock Radio is not to force podcasters, and podcasts that are on the radio, to lose their monetization. Alexandre Storelli hopes it will instead “help companies to develop alternative business models for radio and podcast lovers who do not want ads.”

2019 People’s Choice Podcast Awards Winners

The winners of the 2019 People’s Choice Podcast Awards were announced on the International Podcast Day livestream. If you missed it, you an watch a video of it on the People’s Choice Podcast Awards website.

The 2019 winners are:

The Adam Curry People’s Choice Award: The Fantasy Footballers

Arts: Dads Drinking Bourbon

Manager Tools Business Category: Big Girl Money

Comedy Category: Spitballers Podcast

Grammar Girl Education Category: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Rob Has a Podcast Entertainment Category: We’re Drunk & We Know Things

Games & Hobbies: The Reasons I’m Broke

Government & Organizations: The Impact

Health: Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health

Kids & Family: Mommies Tell All

Feast of Fools/Fun LGBTQ Category: If These Ovaries Could Talk

Coverville Podsafe Music Category: Switched on Pop

The Majority Report Politics & News Category: Today, Explained

Religion and Spirituality: Better Work Bitch

The Skeptics’ Guide Science & Medicine Category: STEM-Talk

Society-Culture: The Brain Candy Podcast

ESPN: Fantasy Focus Football Sports Category: 30 for 30 Podcasts

Storyteller – Drama: Real Life Real Crime

This Week in Tech Technology Category: Why’d You Push That Button?

TV & Film: Ellen on the Go

Visit the People’s Choice Podcast Awards website to see what podcasts were in the same category as the winners, and to view lists of past winners.

Stitcher Redesigned their Homepage

Stitcher has “totally redesigned” the Stitcher homepage to be a destination for your favorite podcasts and for discovering new ones.

Our team has spent the last few months designing, interviewing listeners like you, and doing a lot of coding to come up with a brand new home page design that we can’t wait for you to use.

It seems to me that the redesigned homepage is aimed at people who listen to podcasts on Stitcher, and not necessarily people who have their podcasts on Stitcher. That said, there is some overlap in the two groups, because many podcasters listen to other podcasts.

Here are some major changes to the homepage:

Continue Listening: This feature lets you easily pick up where you left off on episodes you haven’t finished listening to yet.

Shortcuts: Easily access your Downloads, Episode Playlists, and Favorites using the buttons at the top of the homepage.

New Episodes From Your Show: There is now a “New Episodes From Your Show” section. It is where you can tap to listen to the latest episodes from shows on your playlists.

Easier Podcast Discovery: At the top of the home page, there is a showcase of featured shows. Plus, there are sections all down the page with various collections of shows to discover.

It appears that Stitcher has created a home page that is flexible and that will be adaptable over time. They point out that they can add and rearrange sections to keep things fresh. Stitcher says they will continue to make updates to it.

Podfest 2020 will be in Orlando

Podfest 2020 will take place on March 6-8, 2020, at the Orlando World Marriott. Tickets are still available.

Podfest Expo is a community of people who are interested in and passionate about sharing their voice and message with the world through the powerful mediums of audio and video. We’re proud to unite as many people as possible to learn, get inspired, and grow better together.

Podfest is elevated by three pillars:

World-Class Education: Whether you’re just starting out and want to launch your podcast, or want to discover the latest, cutting-edge and data-driven success strategies for growing your audience, we facilitate learning on a whole new level.

Inspiration & Ideas: Podfest has a focus and dedication to bring you speakers and workshops that both inspire you and spark new and innovative ideas in the way of creativity, content creation, audience growth, monetization, and more.

Community and Networking: Podfest says that they hear a lot of people saying Podfest is the best podcasting community in the world. They don’t take credit for this, saying that they just “built the box” that the amazing podcasting community calls “home”. Podfest adds to it with dedicated mingling time, an outstanding (and proprietary) networking event, and after parties.

Podfest 2020 participants can customize their Podfest 2020 experience by choosing what they are most interested in from their Conference Tracks. Doing so will let you customize your daily agenda based on what you are most interested in.

The Conference Tracks include: Creation & Launch; Technology & Innovation; Audience Growth; Monetization & Marketing; YouTube & Video; and Networking & Social.

Auxbus Named a Top Ten Startup to Watch

Auxbus has been named a Top Ten Startup to Watch by the NC Tech Awards. The NC Tech Awards is North Carolina’s only statewide technology awards program that recognizes innovation, growth, and leadership in the tech sector. This award is presented by North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH).

Last month, Auxbus introduced its podcast creation software. The web app enables novice creators to quickly and easily create high-quality audio content through a suite of proprietary guidance and automation technologies.

Auxbus eliminates the pain of dealing with multiple piecemeal tools, encompassing all the steps of planing, recording, one-button voice adjustment, adding music, episode assembly and automatic distribution to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more. More than 1,000 users have created accounts, and they have given Auxbus 4.81 out of 5 review in its first 45 days.

“For over 20 years, NC TECH has celebrated companies, organizations and individuals for outstanding achievement at the NC TECH Awards. As a finalist this year, Auxbus has distinguished itself as one of the state’s innovative and emergent leaders,” stated Brooks Raiford, NC TECH’s President and CEO.

The awards process culminates with the NC TECH Awards Gala on November 21, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center where 800+ businesses, technology and public leaders from across the state will gather to celebrate the tech sector and honor the winners and finalists in each category.

“We are honored to be recognized as a Top Ten Startup to Watch by NC TECH,” said Auxbus founder and CEO, Dan Radin. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be selected among all of the amazing tech startups in North Carolina.”

Blubrry Partners with AudioTech for Podcast Editing

Blubrry Podcasting, providing hosting, statistics and more, recently partnered with the audio engineering company AudioTech, an extensive podcast editing service. Podcasters hosting with Blubrry will receive an exclusive discount for any and all AudioTech editing services they purchase.

It’s a simple process: Blubrry podcasters can reach out to the AudioTech team and discuss what they’re looking for to improve their audio files. AudioTech will edit out ums, long pauses, background noise, add intros and outros, etc. and then return a new file to clients, ready to upload to Blubrry.

“It’s common for podcasters to ask us for editor suggestions and we’re excited to finally be working with a team that does just that,” said MacKenzie Bennett, marketing service coordinator at Blubrry.

Multiple examples of edited files can be found on AudioTech’s site. To learn more about the new partnership and get started, visit Blubrry Partners and AudioTech.

Personally, I am able to create intros and outros and edit the unwanted sounds out of my podcasts. This is likely because I started podcasting in 2005, and have had plenty of time to hone those skills.

New podcasters, however, may be overwhelmed by having to learn how to use audio editing software, and figuring out how to remove ums and long pauses without making mistakes. I think what Blubrry and AudioTech are offering to Blubrry podcasters will help a lot of people make their podcasts better.

Spotify’s Sound Up Cultivates Female Podcasters of Color

Spotify points out that while female podcasters of color are making their mark in podcasting, there is still a significant opportunity to bridge the gap in representation. Spotify states that 22% of podcasts in the U.S. are hosted by women, and even less than that are hosted by minority women.

Spotify’s immersive Sound Up was created to tackle this issue head on. Returning for the second year in a row, the program is designed to uplift and amplify the voices of women of color. This intensive, week-long program lead by longtime facilitators Rekha Murthy and Graham Griffith trains the next generation of leading podcasters through education, mentorship and support from Spotify.

This year’s participants include: Alyssa Castro, Christina Orlando, SK, Janae Burris, Kacie Willis, Michel Rosario, Rebecca Jackson-Artis, Shayla Martin, Yvette Ankunda and Mohini Madgavkar, who were provided one year Journalist PRO Licensees courtesy of Hindenburg Systems during the program.

At the end of the course, Christina Orlando, Janae Burris, Shayla Martin, and SK were awarded $10,000 each to fund their proposed podcasts.

Past alumni of Sound Up have received podcast development deals, connections to industry leaders, and production grants to take their concepts to the next level.

I really like that Spotify is reaches out and provides Sound Up to podcasters who are in the minority. In this case, Sound Up included female podcasters of color in the United States. This follows Sound Up Bootcamp in London, which also focused on aspiring podcasters in the UK who identify as a woman of color. In 2018, Spotify’s Sound Up Bootcamp in Australia invited First Nation’s aspiring podcasters to participate.

Pocket Casts is Now Free

Pocket Casts announced that both the Android and iOS apps are now free. The main reason for this change appears to be thanks to their partners.

In May of 2018, Pocket Casts was acquired by NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, and This American Life. At the time, Pocket Casts stated that it would operate as a joint venture, with founders Philip Simpson and Russell Ivanovic in leadership roles and the existing staff and developer teams remaining in place.

After many months of hard work, we’re excited to share version 7.5 of our Android and iOS apps. The Android version is currently rolling out, and the iOS version is in review with Apple and will be available soon. We also have updates for our web and desktop versions rolling out today.

Some things to know:

If you have already paid for the Pocket Casts app, you will still have access to all the features you paid for. They are not locking any existing features behind a paywall. Pocket Casts will continue to update the free tier with new features and functionality. They believe that the vast majority of users will access the free app.

Those who have paid for the web and desktop Pocket Cast apps will be gifted with three years of Pocket Casts Plus. The next time you log in, you’ll be upgraded automatically and can keep using the apps as you always have, including all of the features that were added in the new release.

Pocket Casts Plus is a new subscription tier. It is not free. There are two plans. The Monthly plan is US $0.99. The Yearly plan is US $9.99. Pocket Casts describes Pocket Casts Plus as “exclusive features for discerning members.”